“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matt 5:3-12).
Today we will look at “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” The word “meek” is defined as “patient and mild; not inclined to anger or resentment.” It also includes the word humility, a trait found in those who are poor in spirit and mourn as well. We will discover that the best spiritual characteristics are found in all whom the beatitudes are speaking of and calling Christians to be like. It is crucial to remember the following if you are striving to be meek, “Meekness is not the same as weakness.” The world will define anyone who displays that noble characteristic as a pathetic, weak individual to be scoffed at and scorned.
Someone used the analogy of a bridled horse as an example of meekness. The horse with a bit and bridle is choosing to be under the rider’s authority. It is “power under constraint.” It is being able to but choosing not to act in a specific situation. One could say that the meek are slow to anger, which is something the Bible warns against. Jam. 1:19-20 says, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” The third beatitude highlights an important strength to have and develop – the ability to “think before you act,” whether in words or actions. But the world cares little for that. It wants you to overreact – to show strength in active response.
It wants you to show your power in arrogance and to destroy anyone who comes up against you. It wants you to actively attack them. The Bible encourages meekness – the act of passively resisting an attack by showing patient restraint. The down-to-earth, modest person does not have to prove who they are by their unrestraint. Their power is not displayed in the act of violence but rather in the act of silence. To walk away from a fight is not cowardice; it is courageous meekness, for which you will be rewarded richly. In Titus, we find the perfect example of what it means to be meek. Tit. 3:2, “…to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”
In Psa. 37:11, we read very similar words to Matt. 5:5, but I will quote v. 10 as well to include the plight of the arrogant. “In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there. But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.” While v.11 is actually referring to the Abrahamic land promise, it also meant that they were thoroughly blessed by God – the understanding that applies to Matt. 5:5. I like to think of it as being rewarded with a suitable measure of blessings on this earth that leads to the ultimate reward of an eternity in heaven. If you want your allotted share of blessings and the fulfillment of the promise of God for an ever after with Him, practice meekness.